Most people have a signature recipe that they are known for. For me it’s my Cappuccino Brownies. It’s a recipe I’ve adapted from Gourmet magazine years ago. Not that the chefs at Gourmet haven’t perfected their recipes, but after playing around with it, I think I’ve made them better.
This year, after seeing Peppermint Snow at Williams-Sonoma, which is basically a jar of really good candy canes crushed up into pieces, I decided to adapt my recipe and make Peppermint Brownies. I think they are like Christmas in a pan.
For years people have begged me for my brownie recipe, and since I’m feeling particularly generous and full of the Christmas Spirit this year, I’m going to finally share it–the Peppermint recipe, not the Cappuccino–I’ll never part with those.
I don’t scrimp on these. I buy the best quality ingredients–it really makes a difference. So Happy Holidays Baristaville! I hope you enjoy them:
Georgette’s Peppermint Brownies
8 ounces good bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Cream cheese layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 Tablespoons Handmade Peppermint Snow (available at Williams-Sonoma)
6 ounces good semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
Make the brownie layer:
- Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, knocking off excess flour.
- Melt chocolate with butter and coffee in a medium metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Whisk sugar and vanilla into chocolate mixture, then add eggs one at a time, whisking until batter is smooth. Stir in flour and salt until just combined.
- Spread batter evenly in baking pan. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out with some crumbs adhering, 22 to 27 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, at least 2 hours.
Make the cream cheese layer:
- Beat together cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, then add vanilla and Peppermint Snow and beat until mixture is well combined.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cooled brownie layer. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Make the glaze:
- Combine all ingredients in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and heat, stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted and glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- Pour glaze over cream cheese layer, then spread evenly.
- Refrigerate brownies, covered, until cold, about 3 hours.
- Cut into 40 bars and remove from pan while still cold.
- Sprinkle a tiny bit of Peppermint Snow in center of each brownie.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
The brownies keep refrigerated, for up to 5 days, but I can guarantee they’ll be gone by then.